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The Nation

January 03, 1988

Mourners of the 14 relatives police say were killed by R. Gene Simmons attended a memorial service in Russellville, Ark., for victims of America's worst family mass murder. The Rev. Royce Savage told 300 people gathered at the First Assembly of God Church that the killings left many fundamental questions unanswered. "Everybody wants to know why this, why them, why here and why that many," he said. The memorial service was organized by relatives of Simmons' wife, Rebecca, 46, one of 16 people her husband is suspected of killing over a four-day period spanning Christmas Day. Savage said Mrs. Simmons' relatives expressed feelings of anger and revenge, but emphasized that they wanted healing to be the focus of the memorial service. Ronald Simmons, 47, is undergoing psychiatric examinations, pending further charges in the slayings.

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